Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Bit of This and That

Realized that I have not been posting regularly, but did want to update a bit on my projects. With the Region Director position, I find myself spending easily 20 hours a week at the job. As such, I find myself more interested in reading and relaxing in a mindless manner rather than stitching. It was an expected side effect.

If I have a "get it done" project, I set aside time in the afternoon to stitch. For example, I am now working on a pearl and coral gollar which I'd like done by January. It is a large project, about the size of the beaded sleeve. I try to do a couple hours every day on it.

I won't start sewing on a project if the evening is late - 9ish or so. By then I am too tired to focus tightly on the project and still relax enough to sleep. My default is spinning. Don't need to really think hard to spin.

My other done by January project is a small swete bag. It has seed pearls. Yes real seed pearls. I need good light to do it. About half the pearls will not go on the #15 beading needle. I am using nymo since the light colored silk threads I have are too fat for the needle. The project is relatively small and has become my traveling around project. I also work on it some evenings.

The last burning project is a folding ort box. ANG put one out to their chapters a couple years ago. My EGA chapter ladies wanted one. The box is similar to the folding origami ones. It presents some design challenges. 1/4th of the design shows on top - or a piece of the lining shows on top. The sides of the box only show when the box is "up". The bottom of the box shows. You have the choice to line the box or not. I am using this as a design exercise for my ladies. They are choosing their own colors and patterns. I am providing a default pattern. One class is layout and one class is construction. They will do the stitching in the intervening 2 months. I am pushing to have mine done by next week and yes I am lining mine with suede cloth.

For my box, I am doing a bargello flame pattern 4:2 with 6 steps. This works well as the basic box size is 2"x2" with an over 2 satin border. I am working on 18ct canvas but congress cloth would work too. I chose 18 ct since the threads I had at hand worked better on it for coverage. I can double or triple the thin threads and the thicker work quite well as singles.

I have realized that I enjoy the design process, but not the stitching process. Doing each of the 5 blocks is boring once the initial one is done. I may vary the others a bit. Perhaps 2 of 2 slightly different patterns for the sides and something a bit different for the bottom.

Yes pics on everything at some point. Now back to the computer to read 26 newsletters and sets of minutes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Workshop Goodness

I have a loose goal of taking classes from all the major teachers. Thus, when one is teaching in my backyard, I try to attend. Vima de Marchi Micheli is one of the longtime teachers of Italian embroidery. She travels to Italy every year. She works with lacemakers and embroiderers to help them document, revive and save, their various styles of needlework. Vima mostly does lectures now, but she was giving a lecture and 2 day workshop locally last week.

The lecture was the fund raising luncheon for the Santa Clara chapter of EGA. I said a few words as Region Director. Need to get people on board for 2010 National in San Francisco and to help with membership outreach in the area. Vima did a fabulous lecture with slides showing lots of different types of Italian needlework. She also had a few pieces from her collection to show (yes with white gloves).

I had heard her lecture about 5 years ago, but somehow this time it was both more interesting and more understandable. I guess I've been learning:) Lots of things became clearer when she spoke; things that when read were confusing.

Thursday and Friday was a workshop of Amelia Ars. Amelia Ars was an arts revival movement. The piece was a combination of reticella, drawnwork, and surface. While the piece was designed on 18 ct. canvas (need to make it interesting to the canvasworkers), I did it on 36 ct linen. They used pearl cotton #5. I used linen 80/3. After 2 days, prework, and homework, I still had only small amounts to show for it. Good class. Learned lots and was able to up my game in working the lace methods. Think the linen piece will become my whitework learning sampler.

Near the end we got into making tassels. In Louisville, I watched her ladies make tassels and purchased some materials. I came home and have been working on a tassel. Fun!!! Pics soon.

Wish I had more time to sew. This RD thing eats time.